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The 36 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

From Bond 25 and Doctor Sleep to Birds of Prey and an Avatar sequel (!), we look ahead to the biggest movies coming out in 2020.

by | November 5, 2018 | Comments

Welcome to the year when your patience finally pays off. The movies 2020 is offering have us almost hyperventilating – mostly because it feels like we’ve been waiting forever for many of them to land in theaters. We’re finally getting Bond 25, with director Cary Fukunuga taking over for once-attached Danny Boyle, and Daniel Craig returning (for one last time?). And we’re finally going to start getting those years-in-the-making Avatar sequels James Cameron’s been tinkering away on. Plus, there are long-awaited follow-ups to Bad Boys and Legally Blonde, and we’re revisiting two ’80s classics with Top Gun: Maverick and The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep both opening in 2020. Plus, Wonder Woman returns in Wonder Woman 1984. It’s not all sequels and reboots though, and if you’re a musical fan, you’re in for a treat, with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights coming to the big screen, courtesy of Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu, and Miranda penning the original animated musical feature, Vivo, for Sony. It’s never too early to get excited about movies, so start marking these titles in your calendar.

Jan-Mar | Apr-June | July-Sep | Oct-Dec

The Best Movies of 2018 | The Most Anticipated Movies of 2019


(Photo by © Columbia Pictures, @ Warner Bros., @ Columbia Pictures)

January

Just Mercy (2020)
Directed by: Destin Daniel Cretton
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson
Opening on: January 17, 2020

Michael B. Jordan stars opposite Brie Larson in Just Mercy, about Civil Rights defense attorney Bryan Stephenson’s experiences in his case to free a death-row inmate. Jordan and Larson are white hot right now, and director Cretton has serious form when working with the Captain Marvel actress – their Short Term 12 is Certified Fresh at 98% on the Tomatometer.


Bad Boys for Life (2020)
Directed by: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah
Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence
Opening on: January 17, 2020

Bad Boys and Bad Boys II may both be Rotten, but they live in the hearts of many action fans as exemplary buddy-cop flicks, and both have Audience Scores of 78%. While original director Michael Bay is not coming back for Bad Boys for Life, producer Jerry Bruckheimer is overseeing the film, and we have confidence that directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah of Black and Gangsta will match his signature style and pace.


The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle (2020)
Directed by: Stephen Gaghan
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Michael Sheen, Antonio Banderas, Tom Holland, Selena Gomez, Marion Cotillard, John Cena
Opening on: January 17, 2020

After a pair of poorly received films starring Eddie Murphy, Robert Downey Jr. is ready to take up the mantle of Doctor Dolittle in a new screen adaptation directed by Stephen Gaghan (Gold, Syriana). This film will be based more on the second book by author Hugh Lofting, and it will co-star Antonio Banderas and Michael Sheen, with the voices of Tom Holland, Marion Cotillard, Selena Gomez, John Cena, Emma Thompson, and more.


Doctor Sleep (2020)
Directed by: Mike Flanagan
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Zah McClarnon
Opening on: January 24, 2019

Mike Flanagan has delivered one Fresh horror movie after another with Absentia, Oculus, Ouija: Origin of Evil and Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game, which is Certified Fresh at 91%. Flanagan has form in TV, too, with his Netflix limited series, The Haunting of Hill House, scoring a Tomatometer of 100%. He returns to Stephen King for Doctor Sleep, the author’s sequel to The Shining, in which grown-up, down-and-out Danny Torrance (played by Ewan McGregor) uses his psychic power to help dying AA nursing home patients. In the process, he runs afoul of “The True Knot,” a cult of demons who feed on those with “shining” powers.


February

Birds of Prey (2020)
Directed by: Cathy Yan
Starring: Margot Robbie, Jurnee Smollett-Ball, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Opening on: February 7, 2020

We last saw Margot Robbie’s wily Harley Quinn get in all kinds of trouble in Suicide Squad. What happens when she joins Birds of Prey, DC’s all-ladies team of adventurers? Sheer. Unadulterated. Mayhem. Along for the ride will be Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who were cast as Black Canary and Huntress, respectively, in September, and Rosie Perez, playing Renee Montoya. The will face off against Ewan McGregor as the Black Mask.


Peter Rabbit 2 (2020)
Directed by: Will Gluck
Starring: TBD
Opening on: February 7, 2020

First the garden, then the world. The plot for this sequel to the surprise hit loosely based on the work of Beatrix Potter is still under lock and key, but we’re sure it will involve James Corden’s cheeky rabbit causing all sorts of PG-rated trouble. We do not expect any blackberries to be involved, however.


Bond 25 (2020)
Directed by: Cary Fukunaga
Starring: Daniel Craig
Opening on: February 14, 2020

It’s hard to believe this is only the 25th James Bond movie. Danny Boyle had been on board to direct for the special occasion, but left the project in August 2018 due to those infamous “creative differences.” A month later, it was announced that True Detective and Manic creator Cary Fukunaga would take the reins. Given his track record – which includes Certified Fresh works like Jane Eyre and Beasts of No Nation – fans breathed a sigh of relief when the announcement was made.


Legally Blonde 3 (2020)
Directed by: TBD
Starring: Reese Witherspoon
Opening on: February 14, 2020

It’s been 15 years since we last saw Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde, and, like, why wouldn’t we want to see her again?! It’s been some time since Oscar winner Witherspoon has had a hit movie comedy, but if you told us this was gonna be a smash we wouldn’t object.


Nimona (2020)
Directed by: Patrick Osborne
Starring: TBD
Opening on: February 14, 2020

Presented by Blue Sky Studios, makers of such hits as The Peanuts Movie and Ferdinand, comes Nimona, a family fantasy based on the web-comic of the same name by Noelle Stevenson. Nimona is shapeshifting thief who teams up with the equally villainous Lord Blackheart to prove that maybe the good guys aren’t so good after all.


Bloodshot (2020)
Directed by: Dave Wilson
Starring: Vin Diesel, Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan
Opening on: February 21, 2020

Who is Bloodshot? If the Valiant Comics assassin’s relaunch series was any indication, that is the big question. An unstoppable super-soldier powered by nanomachines, Bloodshot’s past is a mystery to him, and he’s on a mission to find out who he is and who – or what – is controlling him. With Vin Diesel as the titular character, expect a heavy side of testosterone with this slice of sci-fi.


Trolls World Tour, Mulan, Fast and the Furious 9
(Photo by © 20th Century Fox Film Corp., © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, @ Universal Studios)

March

Gambit (2020)
Directed by: TBD
Starring: Channing Tatum (attached)
Opening on: March 13, 2020

Do you believe in development hell, mon amiGambit has had a very public development over the past few years, with directors Rupert Wyatt, Doug Liman, and Gore Verbinski all entering and exiting. With no new director yet slotted, the only thing keeping this Marvel adaptation alive is Channing Tatum’s commitment to play the ragin’ Cajun. In September 2018, the project was pushed back from 2019 to this new date.


Mulan (2020)
Directed by: Niki Caro
Starring: Yifei Liu, Jet Li, Donnie Yen
Opening on: March 27, 2020

Following Disney’s live-action remake trend comes Mulan, directed by Niki Caro of Whale Rider and North Country fame. Featuring Chinese star Liu Yifei as the titular character and a host of other Chinese legends like Donnie Yen, Gong Li, and Jet Li, this one is poised to conquer the global box office and – if it taps into the animated original’s magic – our hearts.


April

Cyborg (2020)
Directed by: TBD
Starring: Ray Fisher
Opening on: April 3, 2020

Despite being part machine, Cyborg was one of the most human elements of 2017’s Justice League. We’re jacked to see how DC evolves his character and pits him against some of the world’s deadliest technological terrors (please be Metallo, please be Metallo, please be Metallo). While there’s a lot of love for Ray Fisher, and the movie has been in development since 2014, some are skeptical it will move forward given that Warner Bros. has not committed to a writer or director.


Fast and Furious 9 (2020)
Directed by: Justin Lin
Starring: Vin Diesel, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson
Opening on: April 10, 2020

It’s full-throttle and pedal to the metal for the Toretto crime/adventure/anti-terrorism/what-even-are-they family yet again. Director Justin Lin was the man to turn the franchise around, delivering the series’ first Fresh entry on his third try with 2011’s Fast Five (Certified Fresh at 73%); since then, every Fast movie has landed on the red end of the Tomatometer. If you can’t wait for 2020 to see some bonkers car-based set pieces, check out Fast spinoff Hobbes and Shaw in 2019.


Trolls World Tour (Trolls 2) (2020)
Directed by: Walt Dohrn, David P. Smith
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Jamie Dornan, Sam Rockwell
Opening on: April 17, 2020

After saving their colors and learning the true value of happiness in the Certified Fresh Trolls, the high-haired crew returns for another groovy adventure with Anna Kendrick again starring as Queen Poppy. She will be joined by a star-studded cast including Sam Rockwell, Chance the Rapper, Anthony Ramos, Karan Soni, Flula Borg, and Jamie Dornan.


Maleficent 2, Minions 2, Godzilla vs. Kong
(Photo by © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, @ Universal Studios, @ Warner Bros. )

May

Barbie (2020)
Directed by: TBD
Starring: Margot Robbie (in talks)
Opening on: May 8, 2020

“She’s a Barbie girl, in her Barbie World” – but not for long. When Barbie is exiled from “Barbieland” for not being perfect enough, she has to make it on her own in the real world. At least that was the synopsis of this long-in-development project before it recently moved studios from Sony to Warner Bros. Anne Hathaway and Amy Schumer had been attached at various points, but the latest news is that Margot Robbie is considering the lead role and producing the film through her company LuckyChap. The release date of May 8 was set by Sony, so expect that to move, too.


A Quiet Place sequel
Directed by: TBD
Starring: TBD
Opening on: May 15, 2020

Who was lighting those fires we saw in the distance in the original A Quiet Place? We may just find out in the sequel, which it was announced in October 2018 that John Krasinski would be writing. It’s unknown whether Krasinski will return to direct the sequel to Paramount’s surprise horror smash, and whether the story will focus at all on the family featured in the first film. No casting has yet been announced. The studio, along with everyone else involved in the film are keeping details, well, quiet.


Godzilla vs. Kong (2020)
Directed by: Adam Wingard
Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler
Opening on: May 22, 2020

It’s the showdown we’ve been waiting for since 2014’s Godzilla. Director Adam Wingard – who has proven he knows how to provide the thrills with The Guest and You’re Next – helms this climactic entry in Warner Bros.’ MonsterVerse series, which continues in 2019 with Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Who will win when the giant ape takes on the king? Kong’s got the fighting skills, but Godzilla’s got reach, especially with his atomic breath.


Maleficent 2 (2020)
Directed by: Joachim Ronning
Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Angelina Jolie
Opening on: May 19, 2020

Maleficent put an interesting spin on Disney’s live-action remakes, retelling the beloved story of Sleeping Beauty through the eyes of its iconic, and misunderstood, villain. The different take worked: Maleficent made almost $760 million globally during its 2014 theatrical run. The sequel should also do big business. Kon Tiki director Joachim Ronning takes over for Robert Stromberg, and Michelle Pfeiffer co-stars.


June

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
Directed by:
 Patty Jenkins
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig
Opening on: June 5, 2020

As villain Cheetah, Bridemaids’ Kristen Wiig climbs aboard the Wonder Woman sequel, which sees Gal Gadot returning to her Amazon-princess role that catapulted the first film to a $412.5 million box office, a Certified Fresh 92% Tomatometer score, and the No. 2 spot in our list of the 64 Best Superhero Movies of All Time. The action is set during the Cold War in the ’80s and finds Chris Pine reappearing as Wonder Woman’s love interest Steve Trevor, despite his apparent death in the first film.


Red Notice (2020)
Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Gal Gadot, Dwayne Johnson
Opening on: June 12, 2020

Dwayne Johnson teams up with writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber for the third time (the pair previously collaborated on Central Intelligence and Skyscraper) for this film which is said to be about an Interpol agent chasing after the world’s most-wanted art thief. (An Interpol “Red Notice” is kind of like an international arrest warrant.) Gal Gadot has signed on to the project, but it’s not yet known who she will play.


In The Heights (2020)
Directed by: Jon M. Chu
Starring: TBD
Opening on: June 16, 2020

Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu adapts Lin-Manuel Miranda’s breakout musical, In the Heights. The show, which kicked off the Hamilton creator’s career, won four Tony Awards in 2008, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. Chu demonstrated real skill with spectacle in Crazy Rich Asians, and the new movie shares similar themes of reclaiming one’s heritage – it follows the stories of several characters in New York’s heavily Latino neighborhood, Washington Heights, over three days.


Top Gun: Maverick (2020)
Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Val Kilmer, Jay Ellis, Miles Teller, Thomasin McKenzie, Monica Barbaro
Opening on: June 26, 2020

Great balls of fire, we’re getting a Top Gun sequel after 31 years. Not a whole lot is known about the movie, except that the filmmakers have recruited a cast of some of the most in-demand young actors in Hollywood – including Miles Teller, who will play Goose’s son, and Leave No Traces Thomasin McKenzie – and that Val Kilmer is officially back as Iceman.


July

Minions 2 (2020)
Directed by: Kyle Balda, Brad Abelson
Starring: Pierre Coffin
Opening on: July 3, 2020

We last saw the minions wreaking havoc in 1960s England before they met up with a young Gru. Perhaps their next adventure will be their first with him. Whatever shenanigans the yellow ones, voiced by Pierre Coffin, get up to, expect them to be at it again for Minions 3 and Minions 4 and so on: the first Minions movie made more than $1.5 billion globally and helped the Despicable Me franchise become the highest grossing animated franchise of all time.


Jungle Cruise (2020)
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti
Opening on: July 24, 2020

Following the path that Pirates of the Caribbean charted so successfully, this new film (franchise?) is based on the Disney theme park attraction of the same name. Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt star, respectively, as a riverboat captain and a scientist on a hunt for a magical cure in this Depression-era action adventure. Comedian Jack Whitehall also joins in the fun, playing Blunt’s character’s brother. Collet-Serra has had a string of action-thriller hits working with Liam Neeson (CommuterNon-StopUnknown), so there’s a chance this one could be slightly darker than anticipated. The movie was originally slated to premiere in 2019, but was bumped in fall 2018.


Green Lantern Corps (2020)
Directed by: TBD
Starring: TBD
Opening on: July 24, 2020

In brightest day, in blackest night, a new Green Lantern movie is in our sights! Rumored to involve characters like John Stewart, Guy Stewart, and, of course, Hal Jordan, Green Lantern Corps is reportedly more of a space opera than 2011’s Green Lantern. There has been little movement on the project in recent years, but we’ll be keeping it on the list until we hear if it’s officially cancelled or delayed. We’re that excited for a second try at this world.


Sherlock Holmes, The Croods 2, Avatar 2
(Photo by @ Warner Bros., ©20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

September

The Croods 2 (2020)
Directed by: Joel Crawford
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone
Opening on: September 8, 2020

We don’t know if the creatures in The Croods were prehistorically accurate, but we do know the family adventure was prehysterical! (Sorry about that.) The whole family returns for the sequel, with Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, and more reprising their roles. Original co-director Kirk DeMicco is off making Vivo (see November releases), and so first-time feature director Joel Crawford, a veteran story artist, takes the reins.


October

Bios (2020)
Directed by:
Miguel Sapochnik
Starring: Tom Hanks
Opening on: October 2, 2020

Tom Hanks is back, breaking our hearts again. Here he plays a sickly inventor — and the last human left on a post-apocalyptic earth — who creates a robot to protect the life of his dog when he dies and keep them both company while he’s alive. Will said robot be as lovable as, say, Wilson? Time will tell. Director Miguel Sapochnik boasts an epic resume, particularly in TV – if you need any convincing on this one, just know he directed Game of Thrones “Battle of the Bastards” episode.


Micronauts (2020)
Directed by: TBD
Starring: TBD
Opening on: October 16, 2020

Micronauts are a group of robotic characters who are closer than we think – they exist in the microscopic space around us, and they’re constantly battling for control. Although there was a Marvel comic-book series based on the Micronauts toyline, the new movie will be entirely original, and with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot producing, we have faith the story is in good hands. The characters are said to be part of Hasbro’s shared continuity movie universe, which has been reported to include G.I. Joe and M.A.S.K.


 November

Vivo (2020)
Directed by: Kirk DeMicco
Starring: TBD
Opening on: November 6, 2020

Hamilton geeks rejoice: Lin-Manuel Miranda has written an entire animated musical. Miranda’s Vivo, a Sony Animated Pictures movie, centers on a monkey with a song in his heart who travels from Havana, Cuba to Miami, Florida to – so the plot descriptions say – “fulfill his destiny.” There are serious animation chops behind this one – it comes to us by The Croods director, Kirk DeMicco, and Miranda himself was responsible for a chunk of the music in Certified Fresh smash Moana.


Ron's Gone Wrong (2020)
Directed by: Alessandro Carloni, Jean-Philippe Vine
Starring: TBD
Opening on: November 6, 2020

Set in a world in which robots have become kids’ besties, Ron’s Gone Wrong focuses on one 11-year-old boy who finds his robo-friend is busted. His attempts to teach the busted bot some new tricks are set to draw big laughs, and maybe a few tears. The project has big animation talent behind it, including co-directors Alessandro Carloni (who directed Kung Fu Panda 3) and Jean-Philippe Vine (who worked on the Shaun the Sheep TV series and Pixar’s Inside Out).


Rugrats (2020)
Directed by: TBD
Starring: TBD
Opening on: November 13, 2020

Little is known about the upcoming Rugrats movie, save that it’s based on the classic ’90s Nicktoon, that it will be a combo of live-action and CGI, and that it will be a shot of nostalgia for all those former ’90s kids. Meanwhile, the series itself is being rebooted over at Nickelodeon, with the kids’ network putting in a 26-episode order for a Rugrats series with the creators of the original show – Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, and Paul Germain – executive producing.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3 (2020)
Directed by: David Yates
Starring: Eddie Redmayne
Opening on: November 20, 2020

Newt Scamander’s (Eddie Redmayne) globetrotting adventures continue in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’s yet-to-be-named third installment. Our Divination spells predict the return of Dumbledore (Jude Law), Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), and more of the characters from the first two films. The movie is the third of five total planned Fantastic Beasts movies that are said to span, in total, a 19 year period.


December

Avatar 2 (2020)
Directed by: James Cameron
Starring: Kate Winslet, Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana
Opening on: December 18, 2020

A sequel more than a decade in the making, James Cameron’s long-awaited return to Pandora will reunite Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) as they once again defend their paradise planet home – or so we think, as very little is actually known about the plot points. What we do think we know is that it’s set years after the events of the first film, that Jake and Neytiri’s kids feature, and that Kate Winslet will play Ronal, whom Cameron has described as one of “the Sea People.” Yes, Cameron – and Winslet – are returning to the water. With a newly constructed Avatar theme park in Disney, everyone in Hollywood seems confident about this one.


Sherlock Holmes 3 (2020)
Directed by: Guy Ritchie (rumor)
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law
Opening on: December 25, 2020

Guy Ritchie’s two takes on the world’s greatest detective might have been unorthodox, but they provided some pulse-pounding action and tapped into the chemistry between Robert Downey Jr.’s Holmes and Jude Law’s Watson (Sherlock Holmes sits at 71% on the Tomatometer, while sequel A Game of Shadows is almost Fresh at 59%). What criminal mastermind will Holmes next face? Charles Augustus Milverton? Eurus Holmes? Henry “Holy” Peter? That clue has yet to reveal itself.


Sing 2 (2020)
Directed by: Garth Jennings
Starring: TBD
Opening on: December 25, 2020

Unviersal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Sing was a bigger hit than almost anyone expected when it landed in theaters in December 2016. Its mix of celebrity karaoke, animal antics, and heartwarming family fun connected with audiences to the tune of $634 million worldwide. Director Garth Jennings returns for the sequel, about which few details are yet known.


Jan-Mar | Apr-June | July-Sep | Oct-Dec

The Best Movies of 2018 | The Most Anticipated Movies of 2019

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